Steem's best thumbnails of the week: a weekly showcase + design tips + 32 STEEM in prizes

in #contest2 years ago

Oh yeah, in three weeks we have increased the prize from 18 to 32 STEEM thanks to our dear sponsors (more about this below).

The thumbnail is an essential element of a great post.

Hey guys, this is the third week of Steem's best thumbnails of the week showcase + design tips.

This time we have 32 STEEM in prizes:

  • The 18 STEEM I give out from my wallet every week
  • @whatsup's indirect donation of 10 STEEM (she sent me 10 STEEM for posting the comment with most replies on her Epic Introduction Post and I decided to use it for this week's prizes)
  • and @preparedwombat's donation of 4 STEEM for this week's winners.

Prize distribution

Prizes in liquid steem will be given to the first three places:

  • 1st place wins 9 STEEM
  • 2nd place wins 6 STEEM and
  • 3rd place wins 3 STEEM

This week we have 14 additional STEEM to give away:

  • 4 extra STEEM for the first three places
  • 1 STEEM for @null to burn, and
  • 1 STEEM for next week's prize pool.

The reason for this pseudo-contest / showcase / giveaway / design tips post

I've identified a painful point here on our Steem blockchain: the lack of graphic design skills on most post's thumbnails.

Therefore, this series of posts aims to showcase those authors who have done a great job with their thumbnails, and to point out what I think is great about them. You will be able to spot those details and have them in mind when creating your next thumbnail designs.

So, in order to foster good and simple practices of graphic design, every week on Wednesdays:

  • The best 6 thumbnails of the past 7 days, will be selected.
  • I'll dissect each thumbnail and explain the reasons why I think it's great design. This will serve as tips that you can apply on your thumbnails to better your designs and possibly win on the next week.

The criteria to be selected:

  • Thumbnails must be from individual authors. No thumbnails from projects or companies will be selected.
  • Thumbnails must include text.

Bonus points

  • Thumbnails must look good across all Steem front ends. Specially @Partiko, because this dapp has a weird way to crop thumbnails. For example, if you place text too close to the borders, it will be cropped out. If your thumbnail's aspect ratio is not 16:9, you need to make sure your text is dead center vertically and inside an imaginary rectangle of 16:9 ratio, and with some bleed from the side borders in order to avoid text cropping (see this post's thumbnail for a good example on how to set text that will display properly on all Steem front ends).

This week's best thumbnails are:

1st place winner 9+4 STEEM: @ctdots and Getting to Glenfinnan Viaduct to See the Harry Potter Train

Tips to note from this thumbnail:

  • the text blocks were placed to the lower left, to minimize obstructing the background image.
  • there's enough bleed around the text blocks in order for them to "breathe" space in the thumbnail
  • the main text is perfectly readable on very small applications
  • this one is special and won the first prize because the thumbnail design is sober/clean, and the author includes a logo of his username (strong branding).

2nd place winner 6+4 STEEM: @xr-hammergaming with 🎮 Dragon Quest Builders | Pixel Art - Asbel 🎮

Tips to note from this thumbnail:

  • the text / logos are placed in its own space on the left giving images its own space on the right, thus creating a balance

3rd place 3+4 STEEM: @riverflows with I'm Not 'Too' Sensitive - Are You?

Tips to note from this thumbnail:

  • the text is perfectly readable because it has been placed over a semi transparent white background, ensuring the words don't get confused against the background which is a nice collage of other unreadable words and the photo of a woman
  • special kudos because @riverflows noticed my first top thumbnails post and thanks to it she has worked to up her thumbnail game

4th place: @waybeyondpadthai with I tried Stingless Bees' SOUR HONEY in Malacca

Tips to note from this thumbnail:

  • she includes her face on the thumbnail, this is a strong branding practice. Remember: your face is your brand.
  • the text's color scheme resonates perfectly with the background image's colours
  • the text doesn't overlap much of her face or other important parts of the image
  • she used a beehive icon to emphasize the theme of the post

5th place: @moraru.bogdan with Space Surfer. New work :))))))))

Tips to note from this thumbnail:

  • this is less of a design and more of an artwork, but its form follows function therefore it works as a great thumbnail.

6th place: @shogo with SMTs and Beneficiaries

Tips to note from this thumbnail:

  • simple but effectively executed: the author has chosen a great minimalistic background photo and chose to simply include the word "STEEM" (since that's what the post is about) and his username in a size that is readable

I am looking for judges and sponsors!

In order to make this contest more appealing, I am looking for judges and sponsors for the upcoming weeks.

If any of this week's winners would like to judge the following weeks they are more than welcome. However, you can't win on the weeks you are judging, sorry!

If you would like to sponsor some Steem for our weekly prizes, please feel free to contact me on Discord "greencross#2884"

Once again, thanks to @whatsup and @preparedwombat who donated 14 STEEM for this week's prize pool!.

I have burnt 1 STEEM by sending it to @null with a link to this post so it will hopefully be noticed by @smartsteem while, at the same time, executing my STEEM burning duty.

Did I miss any great thumbnail design?

Maybe I overlooked a great thumbnail design?.

If you think I did, feel free to drop a link on the comments and I'll keep an eye on the author for the next weeks.

Thanks a lot!

Posted using Partiko Android


Aw, thankyou!! Inspired by the other awrsome thumbnails amd encouraging everyone to rock this newsteem game!

Posted using Partiko Android


Congratulations and looking forward to your next ones :)

Posted using Partiko Android

Cool idea and great tips. I need to do a better job with this, but also... I kind of like my messy blog brand.. I'll consider it.

Either way, great tips and cool thumbnails! I learned a few things too.

thanks a lot @whatsup!

Maybe I can help you make a messy thumbnail design that you can use as template for future posts ;)

Posted using Partiko Android

My advice: NEVER make thumbnails larger than 200kb. It is really tough on peoples mobile credits to go larger than that. Your thumbnail is over 5MB tall. That is actual money you leech out of the pockets from people, who depend on their mobile credit. is our friend - but don't use PNG if you get HQ JPGs with similar quality for way less.

@flauwy, It is nevertheless a sound advice, and I will be using this tool for shrinking the thumbnail size, and recommending it on my future posts of this kind. I just checked it out and the image quality is untouched while the file size is dramatically decreased on JPEG (up to 10% vs 50% on PNG). Thank you.

However, my advice to you would be to work on your phrasing:

I'm not leeching any money from anyone's pockets.

You make it sound like I am stealing from the people who don't know there are ways to avoid downloading large images on their end.

If anyone's leeching anything those are the phone ISP's.

People with poor ass data conections can always choose to not download images or download very low quality versions. It's an option on the settings of any browser/phone nowadays.

We are almost in 2020.

Ultimately they can unfollow me...

Actually, that was already the censored version. But I am trying to phrase my words better in the future. Apparently, you were struggling to find the right words as well, looking at how many times you have edited your comment. ;-)

P.S. When you shrink PNGs with transparent backgrounds, they usually get 70-90% smaller, without quality loss.

Should I send you some Steem to buy some credit for your phone?

Posted using Partiko Android

I love reading your analysis of these thumbnails and I got inspired to work on it too. This week I experimented with adding text. Obviously I have a lot to learn, but here's the only one that didn't get clipped on Partiko:
I kinda liked this one too, maybe just due to the fact that I took my own picture instead of using Unsplash.

Hi @wholeself-in! thanks for the links!. I like both, but it surely has more merit the one with your own photo as background :) They look great to me!. Here's a tip: try choosing a good font and stick to it, it helps for branding. Your followers will end up knowing it ia you by the font primarily. I like both fonts you used on these two, by the way.

Posted using Partiko Android

Thank you so much for being an awesome Partiko user! We have just given you a free upvote!

The more Partiko Points you have, the more likely you will get a free upvote from us! You can earn 30 Partiko Points for each post made using Partiko, and you can make 10 Points per comment.

One easy way to earn Partiko Point fast is to look at posts under the #introduceyourself tag and welcome new Steem users by commenting under their posts using Partiko!

If you have questions, don't feel hesitant to reach out to us by sending us a Partiko Message, or leaving a comment under our post!

Posted using Partiko Android

I take a lot of pride in my thumbnails, but these are above and beyond.

your thumbnails are great and your last post is hilarious!!!😂😂😂

Posted using Partiko Android

Give thanks

That's so great that you're doing this! I know that it's so needed to have a good thumbnail.. but I have no skills in making great ones.. sigh.. I wish.. I suck at it :(

Thanks so much, I didn't know this was a thing here on Steemit. I take pride in my work and its great that others notice too 😁

Posted using Partiko Android

I've just noticed these awards. As for a designer like myself it is really fun read through this. Thank you for acknowledging my work and hope to hear more form you @greencross in the future!